Is Aruba Safe To Visit? Travel Advisory 2024

A self-governing island and constituent country under the umbrella of the Netherlands, Aruba sits within the Lesser Antilles, less than 20 miles from the northern shoreline of Venezuela. A tropical tourist destination, Aruba’s 106,000 residents welcome nearly two million visitors each year.

With comfortable weather, infrequent rainfall, and a relatively low threat of hurricanes, Aruba is a popular and generally safe tourist destination for visitors from Europe and the Americas.

The general travel advisory of The U.S. Department of State for Aruba is the lowest, Level 1, which translates into exercising normal precautions.

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January 23, 2024: Aruba is making it easier to enter the country

The Aruba Happy One Pass, debuting in late spring, is a digital app program developed by SITA and Indicio in collaboration with the Aruba Tourism Authority. It allows visitors to pass through Queen Beatrix Airport using a facial recognition system. Travelers can store essential travel data on their mobile devices, speeding up border clearance without needing physical documents. The app emerged from a pandemic-era health app and aims to reduce wait times and combat identity theft. Although passports are still required, the app streamlines processes and will eventually extend to other services like hotel check-ins and car rentals. A successful trial was conducted in November.

Crime and Safety in Aruba

Compared with other Caribbean destinations, Aruba enjoys a very low violent crime rate and it’s considered a very safe place. There are also fewer tropical disturbances or natural disasters and there are food and drinking water standards similar to the United States. In most areas of Aruba, petty theft of unattended personal belongings represents the most common crime. 

Serious crimes — such as homicides, kidnapping, and other violent acts — are infrequent in Aruba. Theft occasionally occurs when people do not secure their valuables and personal belongings, though larceny is less common in Aruba than on most Caribbean islands.

With their economy heavily based on tourism, most Arubans understand the importance of offering a safe, welcoming environment. Although Dutch and Papiamento are the official languages on the island, many residents in tourist areas also speak English and Spanish. 

Police regularly patrol tourist areas and provide reliable levels of protection. Corruption does exist, but at much lower levels than found in other Caribbean islands, or locations such as Mexico and Central America.

Most of the island’s tourist destinations occupy areas safe for travel. San Nicholas (Sint Nicolaas), the island’s second-largest city and one located at the southern tip of Aruba, is the only portion of the island that requires a higher degree of vigilance for most tourists. Bars, nightlife, and a red-light district may attract unfriendly attention to some visitors traveling through the area.

Prostitution, legal on the island, is more common there. With Aruba’s drinking age of 18, the bars there sometimes attract younger tourists who may let down their guard. 

Tourist destinations in San Nicholas, such as Baby Beach, are usually safe during daylight hours. However, drug use and incidents of theft tend to be more common there.

Official Travel Advisories

US Travel Advisory

The U.S. State Department’s travel advisory for Aruba, issued on July 17, 2023, is at Level 1, indicating that travelers should exercise normal precautions.

Canada Travel Advisory

The Canadian government’s travel advice for Aruba, updated on January 19, 2024, suggests travelers take normal security precautions. It highlights potential issues like petty crime, including pickpocketing and theft from vehicles and residences, particularly during Carnival (January-March). Women travelers may experience harassment. Caution is advised for water activities, wildlife viewing, and road safety.

UK Travel Advisory

The UK Government’s travel advice for Aruba, current as of January 29, 2024, offers comprehensive guidance for British nationals planning to visit the island. Travelers are encouraged to thoroughly research their destinations and obtain appropriate travel insurance and to stay informed by following FCDO travel on social media and subscribing to email updates.

Important Considerations for a Safe Aruba Visit

For an enjoyable visit to Aruba, follow some common-sense safe travel practices:

  • Secure Personal Items:  As a crime of opportunity, theft sometimes occurs. Secure personal belongings, never leaving passports, cash, gifts, purses, or wallets unattended or in full view.
  • Drink Carefully: Water is generally safe, but excessive alcohol may lead a person to lower their inhibitions and put them in a compromising position. 
  • Know Your Destinations: Whether traveling alone or with friends or family, mapping out destinations, reading reviews, and staying in areas that have received positive reviews from earlier visitors are recommended. 
  • Know the Location of Valuable Documents: Tourists should make a copy of their passport and keep money and valuables nearby. Avoid bringing unnecessary valuable items or wearing expensive jewelry that may attract unwanted attention. 
  • Alert Others of Whereabouts: Sharing an itinerary with friends or loved ones back home, especially if traveling alone, is important. Stay in touch through email or social media messages.
  • Avoid Illegal Substances or Activities: Stay off the radar of criminals by avoiding drug usage. Aruba’s close proximity to South America makes it susceptible to drug trafficking.
  • Enjoy, but Remain Aware:  One will meet other tourists during their visit, as well as strangers. Exercise care and use discretion when receiving advice, recommendations, or accepting offers from unfamiliar people.  

Enjoy Your Visit

Aruba is generally a safe destination and is a popular place to visit. Women can travel safely alone throughout most of the island. Crime rates remain low, compared with other areas of the Caribbean.